From the house you grew up in, to your Great Aunt’s current one, some homes were built in the days when more doors seemed tantamount to more value. But in today’s day and age, the open floor plan is all the rage. Builders are constructing homes with this in mind, and others are tearing down walls left and right. But is the open concept house here to stay?
History of the Open Concept Home
The open concept house is defined as one that minimizes the use of small rooms, barriers and walls. According to Old House Online, the open concept house started becoming more of a reality at the turn of the 20th century. Better building materials combined with more efficient heating sources meant you didn’t have to build small rooms. Also, as land became less abundant, lots became smaller and house plans had to be more adaptable.
During this time, the architecture of most American homes had European influence, which dated back centuries. This is when renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright created what he called the Prarie style home. This was inspired by his upbringing in the midwest. The design of these homes was more of an open concept from what was typical at that time. The fireplace was central, and abundant use of windows kept things light and airy.
Park City’s Open Floor Plans
While you could reasonably argue that the open concept home started with Frank Lloyd Wright, today’s open concept is even more dramatic. I’ve been in some Park City open concept houses that would have many wondering whether they’re in a house or a hotel! But they sure are fascinating. Here are some of the reasons I believe the open concept house to be so popular in Park City:
Entertainment — We Parkites love a good dinner party. And living next to two world class ski resorts, hundreds of miles of trails and surrounded by mountains and National Forest means we get plenty of visitors. And we love to play host. If you’ve ever been on a ski trip with your college friends, you know what roughing it in a cheap ski town rental property feels like. Let’s just say the open concept home is in response to those trips. No more tripping over your friends to get to the coffee pot.
Environment — The open concept tends to blur the lines between indoors and outdoors with strategic window placement. This not only means more natural light so that less electricity is needed for lighting, but also that you feel like you’re in a natural rather than artificial setting. It makes sense why Parkites are drawn to this as we were drawn to the mountains and outdoor settings that are ever present here.
Grandiosity — What’s not to love about a grand foyer, a large open kitchen, and a dining area that seats more than a dozen comfortably? Just like many things in Park City, the open concept also signals the best of the best. And we must have it.
The Future of Open
You may have heard of the tiny home movement. Not exactly the open floor plan I’ve laid out here, is it? I must admit that I think in certain areas, the drive to downsize and simplify will take hold. I think this will happen more in urban areas and city centers. Your house doesn’t have to be 5,000+ square feet to enjoy an open concept. As mentioned above, it’s just the most flexible design option for the needs of your family and those to come. In my professional opinion, the open concept in a place like Park City is here to stay. But urban areas may see more of a shift as trends change.